The Arms of Women, A Decree.
Garter King of Arms, Clarenceux King of Arms and Norroy and Ulster King of Arms
Coat of Arms No. 199, Autumn 2002.

Further to the ruling of the English Kings of Arms dated 7 April 1995 we, Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy & Ulster Kings of Arms, do rule, ordain and decree as follows:

1. An unmarried woman may continue to bear her paternal arms on a lozenge, oval or similar vehicle of display (not being an escutcheon or a colourable imitation thereof) or on a banner.

2. A married woman may continue to bear her paternal arms marshalled on a shield or banner with those of her armigerous husband in the normal way.

3. Whether or not her husband is armigerous, a married woman may bear her paternal arms alone on a shield or banner differenced by a small escutcheon of a contrasting tincture in the canton, centre chief point or other suitable position depending on the design.

4. A widow may continue to bear her paternal arms marshalled with those of her late husband on a lozenge etc. as in paragraph 1.

5. Whether or not her husband is armigerous, a widow may bear her paternal arms alone on a lozenge or banner differenced by a small escutcheon as in paragraph 3.

6. Whether or not a woman is entitled to paternal arms, she may bear her husband's arms alone on a shield or banner differenced by a small lozenge of a contrasting tincture in the canton, center chief point or other suitable position depending on the design.

7. Whether or not a widow is entitled to paternal arms she may bear her late husband's arms alone on a lozenge, oval or similar vehicle of display (not being an escutcheon or a colourable imitation thereof) or on a banner differenced by a small lozenge as in paragraph 6.

8. The husband's arms in paragraphs 6 and 7 will be borne 'by courtesy' and remain the arms of the husband. In cases such as a grant of supporters to a woman peer, Lady Companion of the Garter or Dame Grand Cross, the woman must have arms of her own.

9. Divorced women should (as hitherto) revert to their paternal arms on a lozenge until remarriage; the use of the mascle to indicate divorce will be optional.

10. Women who are peers in their own right, Lady Companions of the Garter or Dames Grand Cross may wish to bear arms on a lozenge regardless of their marital status. If they wish to show that they are married they may add a small escutcheon as in paragraph 3.

11. Children of an heraldic heiress (living or deceased) shall be allowed to quarter her arms provided they are armigerous and their mother's father is dead.

12. A woman grantee is to be considered as the representative of her arms which may be transmitted as a quartering to her descendants during her lifetime and thereafter, unless patent specifies otherwise.

13. Grants of arms in memory of deceased female ancestors will be at the discretion of the Kings of Arms who will not normally allow such grants to extend beyond the petitioner's grandparents. Any woman so commemorated must have been eminent in her own right.